It was youth shooters who broke the first targets at the State Trapshoot. The five-day competition got under way this past Wednesday at the Minot Gun Club. The youngest of the trapshooters led the way.
"I was expecting maybe 75 or so at the most and we're sitting at 95 to 100 right now," said Bill Niemann shortly after shooting got under way Wednesday. "We're pretty full. This is the biggest, I think, that we've ever had for a State Shoot youth event."
Five traphouses were being utilized for the Youth Team event Wednesday - four of them for the competition and one for practice. Five-member teams were scheduled to rotate to additional traphouses for their second round of shooting. Twenty-five targets would be thrown for each shooter at each traphouse. Teams members must each shoot 50 targets.
The competition made the Minot Gun Club a very busy place on Wednesday. The growth of youth shooting was evident with several squads on the line and several more waiting their turn to shoot. Coaches were busy chatting with their teams, offering some last-minute advice and encouragement.
"This is the future of this sport right here," said Niemann while gesturing toward the young shooters taking their turn at the line. "It's touching to see this kind of involvement, to see so many kids want to come out and be involved. It's big."
The Minot Gun Club had five youth squads shooting this past Wednesday. About 100 currently take part in youth shooting at the local club.
Youth trapshooters opened up the State Trapshoot at the Minot Gun Club last Wednesday. Both team and individual events were scheduled.
This squad of young trapshooters was participating in Team Shooting at the State Trapshoot this past Wednesday at the Minot Gun Club. From left are: Matthew Sys; Jordan Funk; Bill Niemann, director; Nick Diaz; Cody Vandall; and Nicholas Dockter. Diaz is from Minot Air Force Base. The others are from Minot.
"It's busy, but that's what this place is supposed to look like," said Niemann. "I have seven people helping me coach in Minot. If I didn't have that many we'd really struggle to get all the kids through the system. It's really coming together and growing."
Minot's youth shooting program receives support from various donors. Halliburton was helping out Wednesday. The company brought a large grill and supplied youth shooters and their families with a meal of bratwurst, hamburgers, chips, salad and drinks.
"They really came through for us," remarked Niemann. "If it wasn't for all the contributions we couldn't function."
A class for youth shooting coaches has been scheduled for August at the Minot Gun Club. The purpose, said Niemann, is to get area coaches certified by both the Amateur Trapshooting Association and National Rifle Association.